In Larimer County alone, as many as 8.4% of seniors are food insecure – meaning they do not always know where their next meal will come from. The Food Bank for Larimer County estimates this number is growing as more and more are reaching the point where they are unable to work. The problem is only exacerbated by the rising cost of housing and medical care. Furthermore, lack of transportation and mobility issues leave many seniors feeling isolated and alone.
Friends enjoy the hot senior meals at the Northside Aztlan Community Center.
To combat this growing problem, the Food Bank for Larimer County has partnered with Volunteers of America (VOA) to provide meals for seniors through a Senior Meal program. VOA has been managing senior meal programs in Larimer County for over 10 years, with the Food Bank providing meals since 2016. In that time, the Food Bank has prepared more than 25,000 senior meals for VOA Partner Sites. Each of these sites provides hot meals to seniors up to five days per week and gives older individuals a chance to make connections and enjoy community.
Many of the guests rely on the hot meals to get by, but more so, these meals are also an important place to socialize. The groups often play bingo, take field trips, and enjoy each other’s company; without the weekly meals, they would not have the opportunity to get out as often. These meals represent more than just food, but a sense of community as well.
As the caterer for the program, the Food Bank prepares hot, nutritious meals in its community kitchen for VOA to deliver to its eight Senior Meal sites throughout Larimer County. The Food Bank works with staff from VOA to plan a variety of meals, including beef, chicken, vegetables, salad, bread and milk. Volunteers from the groups serve and clean up after the meals.
Julie, a Senior Meal program guest, enjoys the food and company at the Northside Aztlan Community Center in Fort Collins, CO.
The food and sense of community gained through these shared meals are invaluable for the seniors in our community. They not only feed the body, but the soul as well. Senior meals are available to all 60+ years of ages; a small donation of $2.50 is requested, but not required. To see a full list of locations and times, click here.
The Food Bank also provides additional boxes of food to seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, also known as the Senior Food Box Program. This is a federal food program, designed to improve the health of senior citizens. Food for the program is provided by the USDA’s Agency of Food and Nutrition Service and given out once per month to seniors through our Food Share locations.
Your support of the Food Bank for Larimer County allows us to work with partners like VOA to end hunger among the most vulnerable in the community, seniors. Together we can solve senior hunger, ensuring no one has to worry where their next meal will come from.